Heading to 40 years old.  June will see me turning 40.  I intend to hit 40 as young as possible 🙂  Here’s to being young at heart.  I have had such a great life up to now, with many fantastic experiences and people to enjoy it with both in work life and family life.  A loving family, great fun, and with a new baby on the way I am looking forward to more of the same and some ventures new.

Mark pint.png Mark shmon

Mark laugh


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Wave hello

waveWell, after spending the first half of this year reviewing an assessing the invitation of becoming a Trustee of Wave Leisure, last week at the AGM I was formally signed in as a Trustee.

I am excited to be part of a social enterprise, which is locally focussed with interesting challenges and huge potential.  Focussed on well being and community, this is I feel will be a rewarding role and one where I can contribute to help in our community with visible results.  It is also an exciting part of my continual professional development of course too.

The team there are great, the opportunities wide and atmosphere fun.  I’m looking forward to seeing where this goes.

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Meet the buyer

Today I attended the meet the buyer event for the Rampion wind farm likely to start construction in May 2015 for the onshore phase.

It was good to understand the potential for local businesses.

But it has not been decided by EOn board as yet whether the project is financially viable, which the decision will be made on March 31st. So watch this space.

In the meantime it seems worth registering as a supplier on http://www.sussexwindenergy.org.uk/ which is the database they will use for searching local supply and contractors.

Let’s see if it goes ahead.


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Funding the unfundable.

I attended a funding event this morning.  Held by Plus Accounting and Invest and Fund.  A good event and useful information for all those businesses that are seeking support in obtaining funding.  That is, so long as they have a business model that is proven and ready to grow.

It left me thinking…. where is the funding model and money for the stages before business model proof.

ie: Proof of concept, Starting out, and Boot Strapping.  Seems to me there is a gaping whole or finance vehicles, or indeed technology, to plug.


Watch this space….. something I may look to set up myself soon.

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2014, NYE and onwards

This gallery contains 10 photos.

So, having had a slightly turbulent and somewhat challenging and interesting year in many ways family life, work and play…. I have been blessed with a relaxed and fantastic Christmas festive period spent with close family and friends. My cousin … Continue reading

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LEAP year Kickstart

Here is a great picture to end the “LEAP” years work. The winner of the kickstart award for start up businesses was Sarah Hamblin. Starting “Rah Rah juice”. A child’s drink business. I wish her all the luck and I’m really pleased that a local initiative I have helped set up and participated in has been the kickstart to her new business venture.


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Ferry good turn around

A turning around of the Ferry!..

I am really pleased that after much work and many hours of time from colleagues and friends in Normandie France and Sussex, that the Newhaven to Dieppe ferry service has been granted an extension of subsidy by the French Seine-Maritime counsel general.

Working as part of the “Operational Committee Transmanche” with local council and businesses to affect this has been a very interesting piece of work for the community and we hope for the local economic benefits long term.

The next 12 months are the most important of course, to work hard to ensure that the amount of subsidy required starts a downward trend and secures the long term support of the French councils and local businesses both in Dieppe and Newhaven.  Enough traction has been established, that I believe it will.

Of course the ferry is important to the port of Newhaven too.  Ensuring it is profitable able to build on the bright future of being a truly exciting green technology port in the coming years, with EON’s Rampion wind farm and various other green tech companies taking up residence in Newhaven.

Let’s see how 2015 pans out for the future of ferry and for Newhaven too.



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Starting young to make more social entrepreneurs


Yesterday I wanted to attend a debrief of the peer review of East Sussex County Council which I was involved in as an interviewee.
As mummy was away Skiing with her friend, I had Harry with me, son number 2. So I thought as he is now 3 years old I should introduce him to the world Rolf executive briefing!
He caught people’s eyes that’s for sure. Not every day a 3 year old in a hat walks in to an exec briefing! :).

I’m glad I did attend and it was great that the council were happy for me to take Harry. It was really useful to gain the insight the peer team were able to summarise. I look forward to hearing if the report.

Main take aways for me were simply that councils are going to have to make their assets work. So, perhaps I can help them to start to think about their money, infrastructure and human capital (bringing their excellent officer task and finish skills) as tools which they must never give away, but use as powerful empowerment vehicles for social entrepreneurs. I’m sure over time this will become the norm. But entrepreneurs and local councils first have to find a way of truly trusting and working together in a united way.


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Driving the lifeboat!

What an awesome morning. Look who’s driving , Not every day I get to drive 2500hp of lifeboat!

With a big grin I say Thanks to the Newhaven chamber of commerce and the brilliant crew of newhaven RNLI!





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SMART Table playing

I took some of the team up to see the SMART UK showroom  in Bagshot for an overview and update on the Education and Business products today.  In the education products we were introduced to the latest SMART Table, which is aimed at education markets, mainly serving the Primary and Early Years markets.   An impressive piece of technology with up to 40 points of touch recognised at any one time, which means lots of tiny little fingers can all collaborate, learn and play at once.  Making learning for little ones fun, exploring, helping each other and most of all, play…. so I think this has legs on it… or should I say lots of fingers on it.  David and Lisa loved it, here they are popping balloons!..

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